In March, I interviewed Alex Krapf, president of CodeMesh, about his company's unique solution to the problem of porting applications from Java into the .NET world. Basically, it translates code from Java to C++ or C# - or vice versa, depending on your needs.
"When Microsoft came out with .NET, we immediately said alright, that's a winning technology, let's put Java into that because we know for sure that Microsoft is not going to put Java into that mix," Krapf said.
Apparently, Microsoft reconsidered.
InformationWeek reports that Microsoft has taken the Stocktrader application, written with Java Enterprise Edition, and moved it over to .NET, thus demonstrating its platform can be used for SOA. Technically, Microsoft isn't translating the code -- it didn't even change the code -- so it's not exactly the same as the Codemesh solution. But it's pretty big news.
Microsoft hooked the application's Java server pages up to its Web services layer, which is managed by update of Microsoft Configuration Service. Version 2.0 of the configuration service will be released to select customers in beta soon. Microsoft wants to replace hand-coded integration between Java and .NET with "drop down menus and other easy to use features in Configuration Service to set up linkages and communications between their Windows applications and the software of a non-Windows partner," according to the article.
In other integration-related news:
Zoho CRM Integrates, Too. Eat your heart out, Salesforce.com and Google. Now Zoho is offering an enterprise-level CRM solution -- and it integrates with Zoho Sheet -- an online spreadsheet application. The plan is to integrate with other Zoho applications, as well. Okay, the offering doesn't have quite the same media pizazz as the Google/Salesforce partnership, but Zoho's confident its price - $25 per user per month -- will appeal to medium-sized enterprises.
Speaking of On-Demand and Web 2.0 ... The Web 2.0 Expo was this week, and there were a number of integration-related announcements as a result.
Kapow Technologies announced its new OnDemand service, which it says will make it possible to deliver Web data into internal applications -- such as Excel - and "integration infrastructure." What's new and different, according to ZDNet's Dana Gardner, is that the data delivery will be done in the cloud, using mashups business users will be able to make in mere minutes.
SnapLogic was also at the Web 2.0 Expo, unveiling its SnapLogic Professional Edition 2.0. SnapLogic CEO Chris Marino gave me an online demo of the updated data integration framework. I have to say -- it's an interesting product and very Web 2.0. SnapLogic calls its approach "Really Simple Integration," and it uses REST to access data. Basically, it's set up like the Internet. Everything gets its own URL and is viewable within a browser. You can even "preview" data from a database within your browser to see if it's what you need.
The open source company offers a free community edition, but it also offers a professional edition, with your choice of two subscription plans -- a developer subscription at $9,000 a year and an enterprise subscription starting at $25,000 a year. Watch next week for my Q&A with SnapLogic's CEO, Chris Marino.
Can Wikis Be Used for Integration? Over a year ago, I wrote about a neat trick developed by software developer Chad Files that allowed you to pull information from other systems into a wiki. Now, a year later, MindTouch is attracting companies like FedEx, Siemens and Gannett by using its Deki Wiki platform as an integration layer and a common user interface for different applications. InformationWeek published a vendor profile about MindTouch's integration benefits late last Friday and it's definitely an intriguing offering.
SOA Express for Health Care. Intel is offering new software, Intel SOA Expressway for Healthcare, which will help with health care data interoperability between hospitals and other health care providers and networks. It's based on SOA -- which is why it's in the title -- and offers "a way to translate, process and connect any data format across a healthcare network," according to the press release. Intel has also created a group of independent, "best-of-breed" software partners that offer supporting capabilities.
Ubuntu 8.04 Integrates with Windows. Canonical's Ubuntu has its eyes on the enterprise with Version 8.04, which was expected to be released for free download on Thursday. According to InformationWeek, this release will be more enterprise-friendly, which means it could compete with Red Hat Enterprise and Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise. One way it's enterprise-friendly: A third-party product will allow this version of Ubuntu to use services from Microsoft's Active Directory user identification system. The product, called Likewise Enterprise, allows IT to administer Linux through the same management console used for Windows, according to InformationWeek. Canonical has committed to supporting this release for five years.
Enterprise Architecture and Integration Summit Set for May. The final agenda and keynote speakers for the upcoming Enterprise Architecture & Integration Summit were announced this week. The event is for CIOs, CTOs, enterprise architects and other high-level technology managers. It will take place in Calgary, Alberta, May 12-13. The speaker list includes an impressive array of technologists and analysts, including John Zachman, founder of the Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement. Since the summit is produced by the Integration Consortium and the Calgary Enterprise Architecture Forum, members of those organizations receive a discount on the registration.